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Santos leads in Qatar

Last updated: 24th January 2013

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Ricardo Santos posted a first-round score of seven-under-par 65 to secure a one-shot lead at the Qatar Masters on Wednesday.

Santos, who was named the European Tour's rookie of the season in 2012, produced some quality golf around the greens, which helped fend off challenges from England's Anthony Wall, Frenchman Alexander Kaleka and Scot Peter Whiteford.

The 30-year-old Santos, who broke into the world's top 200 for the first time at the Abu Dhabi Championship last week, said the confidence gained from that experience contributed significantly to his first round success this week.

"Last week gave me a lot of confidence, but I don't want to put any more pressure on my shoulders - I just want to enjoy it," said Santos.

Santos would like to build on the success of last week, not only in this tournament, but also for the remainder of the season.

"Winning Rookie of the Year gave me a lot of confidence for this season. I practice a lot to have a more consistent game and that's my target for this season, that and just enjoy myself," he said.

Equally impressive during the first round in Qatar was Wall, who finished the day in a tie for second place alongside Kaleka and Whiteford, on six under.

Wall, who has battled to secure positive results on the European Tour insisted that Wednesday's outing on the golf course wasn't easy, by any stretch of the imagination.

"You don't often get Qatar with no wind and I took advantage of it," said Wall.

While the unheralded players stole the limelight on day one, world number Four Justin Rose and last week's Abu Dhabi Champion Jamie Donaldson managed to stay in contention.

Having incurred a penalty, Rose finished the round on four under alongside former PGA champion Martin Kaymer. World number five Louis Oosthuizen finished the day on one under.



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